Chickpea Cutlets, Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Mashed Sweet Potatoes

The Chickpea Cutlet recipe in Veganomicon is a big staple in our house. I’ve made it for friends and family, have convinced people to buy the book because of it and pretty much have it committed to memory by now. Simple, fast and always delicious, they’re a protein-filled part of dinner that we have at least a few times a month during weeknights. If you have yet to try the recipe, I’m giving you a virtual kick in the pants to get going on that.

We generally fix this meal with the exact same sides every time: roasted Brussels sprouts and baked sweet potatoes, (as pictured above). If it ain’t broke, right? Since we are in the midst of Vegan MoFo and I want to try to step out of my comfort zone (ever so slightly) with some of my standards, I thought I’d try to switch up our spuds and mash them into a bright orange glory. Problem was, I’d never mashed sweet potatoes before.

I did a little research and apparently the traditional method for creating regular mashed potatoes, (boiling then smashing) doesn’t work for sweet potatoes, as the boiling process drains the flavor. I read that it’s better to cook the potatoes down with seasonings then mash once soft to the touch. I couldn’t find a recipe for savory rather than sweet that I liked, so I created my own.

Since I’m creating and generously doling out recipes today, I’ll share my foolproof recipe for roasted Brussels, in case you haven’t had the pleasure. If you grew up hating Brussels sprouts like me and most children, this will change your mind, and is so easy you’ll wonder how you ever got on without ‘em.

Garlic Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

4 sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into chunks
1/2 c. almond milk
1 garlic clove, minced
Few pinches salt and pepper
1 T. Earth Balance (optional)

Directions

Add all ingredients to a medium saucepan, like so.

Cover and cook on low heat. Stir every few minutes then cover again.

Once the potatoes are soft (this took a little less than 20 minutes for me), shut off the heat, and proceed with smashing potatoes. Add the Earth Balance and mix well. Serve immediately.

Roasted Brussels sprouts

Yield: probably 4 servings, but we eat this in one night. Oops.

Ingredients

1 lb. bag of Brussels sprouts
1 T. olive oil
1/8 tsp. salt (I don’t add a ton of salt to things, so feel free to add more to yours if you like)
Red pepper flakes
Pepper
2 cloves minced garlic, (optional)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Cut Brussels sprouts in half, and cut off stems.

Place on baking sheet, and add the olive oil, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and garlic if using. Mix together and ensure the sprouts are evenly coated.

Place sheet in oven and cook for 25 minutes, or until the sprouts are as cooked as you’d like them to be. Eat immediately!

Here’s a shot of the entire meal, new mashed sweets and all. We usually top our cutlets with a vegan BBQ sauce, but a mustard sauce or gravy make perfect additions as well. White wine rounds out my meal.

How do you like to cook your sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts? Do you find yourself needing to switch up the way you traditionally cook your sides, or are you all about routine when it comes to weeknight dinners?